A common issue that many guys find themselves pondering over while trying to build muscle is whether or not occasional drinking can be a part of this equation.
So, what’s the answer to this? Can you really have the odd beer and still have no trouble gaining muscle mass or should you avoid alcohol altogether when on a strict weight training program?
Here are some things you should consider when evaluating this issue.
Alcohol and Protein Synthesis
One of the biggest problems that occur when you consume alcohol while trying to build muscle is the effect it has on protein synthesis. Since you must be able to optimally build muscle tissue through rebuilding the individual muscle tissues, anything that disrupts protein synthesis will be less than favorable.
Having more than a few drinks a day will decrease this process by 20% or more, so theoretically, you can expect your gains to slow by a corresponding 20% or more.
Alcohol and Your Hormones
There is no doubt that the hormones present in your body play a major role when it comes to how much muscle you are able to gain.
After drinking alcohol, not only will you see an increase in estrogen, which, for men is definitely not ideal, but it will also cause a decrease in free-flowing testosterone levels.
Since testosterone is the primary anabolic hormone in the body, when it is hindered, muscle gain is hindered as well.
Alcohol and Hydration
The third issue with alcohol consumption is the effects it has on your hydration status. Hydration can severely impact your ability to workout, as well as causing you to feel hungrier than you should be.
Because alcohol acts as a diuretic in the body, essential you are only speeding dehydration along.
This factor can be overcome if you are sure to increase your water into in a corresponding manner to how much alcohol you consume, but more than often this step is not taken.
Furthermore, the more water you have flowing throughout the body, the better the nutrients will get delivered to the repairing muscle tissues. Since alcohol decreases the total body water content, this means less opportunity for your muscles to get the building blocks they need.
Alcohol and Your Body Fat Levels
Finally, the last issue surrounding alcohol consumption and muscle building is its effects on your overall fat mass.
While you do need to consume more calories than you need in order to actively gain muscle tissue, too many calories and the fat mass will come piling on. Because alcohol does contain 7 calories per gram, it’s quite easy to overdo it in this department as start seeing the fat accumulate around your abdominal region.
So, next time you’re going out for a night where you plan to consume numerous alcoholic beverages, keep these factors in mind.
If you aren’t looking to compete in a professional body building competition or something, an occasional drink shouldn’t be too detrimental, but if you are looking to achieve maximum success from your workouts, it is best to avoid drinking as much as you can.